USA 06/22 – Valleyfair + Nickelodeon Universe

If the last three days had taught us anything it was that the weather forecast probably needed checking a bit more regularly. This highlighted the fact that were were due a severe thunderstorm at midday, so we’d better get our skates on.

Day 8 – Valleyfair

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All the fun of the fair.

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We headed straight to the back of the park first, to pick up the priorities. It’s an unusually shaped park with a long and thin layout, so basically no one had made it here yet, not that any of the queues were a problem, bar one.

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#1 Renegade was first on the bill, another chance for some GCI goodness. Though reputation preceded it, this one didn’t quite live up to those that we’d experienced over the past week, which had all been above average for their type. Renegade was precisely that, average. Serviceable.

The double twisted drop looks far better in photos than it performs in real life and though it’s fast paced and contains some undoubtably good moments, the focus on corners was a little too high for my personal tastes.

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#2 Excalibur was a fascinating one. Arrow mine train meets mega coaster, in such an awkward location that guests don’t ever find it. The huge drop was pretty spectacular for a ride of this nature and it had some surprisingly intense moments alongside another powerful pow of unexpected airtime. Just ended a little too quickly for my liking.

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With the clouds growing ever more ominous-looking, we skipped past the stupid wild mouse and hopped on #3 Wild Thing. Another fun, butter smooth, Morgan experience that was near identical to the last. Sadly the final series of hills weren’t as potent as they had been on Mamba, but the lack of queue made it far more rerideable at the very least.

Content that we now had all the coasters of significance under our belt, it was time to see how much we could mop up before the lightning shattered our hopes and dreams.

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Unlike Worlds of Fun, #4 Cosmic Coaster is fair game at Valleyfair. +1.

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I had it in my head that #5 High Roller was going to be a spinner clone, so to find that it was a Snoopy land little(ish) woodie was a pleasant surprise. Better than the Boss.

The moment we left the station for this one, staff members with clipboards came pouring up the exit ramp to shut the ride down before the very next train. There’s a storm coming, and we all best be ready when she does.

While walking back towards the entrance, confirming that everything was closing down around us once again, staff seemed jovial and optimistic towards those that would ask about the situation. Don’t worry folks, it’ll probably pass and everything will be fine later. That’s what I like to hear.

Luckily there’s a few indoor creds just down the road.


Nickelodeon Universe

After swerving to narrowly avoid parking in the Georgia section of the Mall of America, we settled on Maine and headed in.

The park have clearly got the measure of us, as there’s a wristband deal that gets you exactly the number of points for 1 ride on every coaster. It doesn’t come with any adhesive though, I believe the first ride you come to is supposed to supply you with a sticker so that you can actually wear it, but they weren’t doing that. Brandish wildly it is.

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It all began with #6 Fairly Odd Coaster, yet another Gerstlauer spinner, I knew someone had one today. All of this layout went to exactly the same part of the world for some reason. Good thing it’s good, although this one appeared to have aged poorly and was really crunchy in places.

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Talking of things that have aged poorly, #7 SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge was awful. Bad Eurofighter bad, it’s been a while since I’ve had that wakeup call. Shame it had to happen on a rarely seen unique layout.

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In fact here’s a car that was on track just earlier that morning.

The rain on the roof looked ridiculously intense while we were in here, so glad we got out of that one.

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#8 Pepsi Orange Streak, the huge custom Zierer Tivoli with multiple lifts that weaves in and out of everything in the entire park has to be one of the finest examples of these around. I’m gonna go with best ride in the park. So many visuals.

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Although #9 Back at the Barnyard Hayride, which is barely even a coaster, was also a solid contender for that title.

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Because last up was this stupid thing, #10 Avatar Airbender. To be fair I haven’t yet had a repeat of the original, awful Half Pipe experience where the restraint makes contact with your head on every launch and this one actually had a good bit of float at the tops. Still basically a flat ride.


Valleyfair the Revenge

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And from flat ride to flat ride in the form of #11 Steel Venom. As promised, Valleyfair were back in business later that very afternoon, once the storm had passed. For some reason our Platinum pass wouldn’t let us back into the car park a second time – the parking attendant asked when and were we got the pass from, before waving us in, confused.
“Last week, Kings Island.”
“Where?”

Back on topic, Intamin Impulses. Bleh. We sat in the back to make the most of the spike, while I hoped it didn’t ride as poorly as that one with the stupid angles. It didn’t, it was fine. A good bit of float at one of the two tops.

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Arrow looper was a thing that happened. Not sure I agree on calling something #12 Corkscrew when it has a vertical loopings as well.

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These #13 Mad Mouse Arrow mice are nothing short of a plague. I queued 90 minutes for my last one and I queued far too many minutes for this. It was running maximum capacity on cars, but each one spent a good 5-10 minutes stacking on the brake run, with guests getting visibly sunburnt and annoyed (yes, it was now back to high-30s°C, will the relentlessness never cease?). Everything else was walk on and they don’t even need the cred.

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Best part of the experience was the baby birds living inside this queueline TV, which was thankfully off. Plus the fact that it meant the park was complete. Been a while since that’s happened.

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Renegade hadn’t notably improved from earlier. S’alright.

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And Wild Thing was as predictable as can be.

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So, content with our day of great success, that’s all from Valleyfair. Good park, that.

Day 9

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